Evaluation Criteria

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23 Quality Criteria for Evaluating Educational Sites
By Mark Treadwell

To judge a sites credibility there are a number of factors that contribute to its usefulness within the teaching environment. Now that we are teaching our students to discriminate between good sites and sites that are not to be trusted we need to provide them with criteria to base their discrimination on. Here is a list of some criteria that you can introduce to them to:

  1. The site is authorized and has credibility. A credible site will have an organization or educational basis behind its content. This will often appear in the form of a link to that organization or a biographical page.
  2. Citing of information. Where statistics are quoted all information is cited with reference to the original location of the information and how to find it.
  3. Interactivity. The site allows for a response either via forms or via E mail. The site responds to requests and acknowledges your sending of information.
  4. The site has an emphasis on information not on flashy applets that have no use or obvious application.
  5. The site is updated regularly. Check the site for the last update date.
  6. There are links to additional information. One site rarely ever can do justice to a particular topic. Good sites always refer their viewer to additional sites that can provide specific information.
  7. The site can be navigated easily. It should be obvious what to click on and how to return to where you started. Indexes on the left hand side of the page are a good tool.
  8. The site is searchable if it is large and there is an index to the content of the site. Searches of directories needs to be theme based and not Boolean based as you may use for a search engine.
  9. The objective of the site is obvious and stated in the introduction to the site. This should then be revealed via the content that is presented. Often the objective is not realised via the content.
  10. There is a correlation with curriculum. The material should be related to curriculum objectives and relate to your countries educational objectives.
  11. There is no racial/religious/gender imbalance or offensive language contained within the site. Before recommending a site you must take into account the ethics and morals that you wish to establish within your educational community.
  12. The level of language on the site is appropriate and the font size suits the needs of the intended readers. This also applies to the interplay between text and graphical/video/audio files.
  13. Simplicity in layout is one of the best guides for quality of content.
  14. The tasks set allow for the various learning styles of individuals. Each site will have its focus but a balance of styles is the overall aim.
  15. There is a variety in the types of activities that are suggested or provided including independent, teachers/peer dependent and co/team dependent activities as well as a variety of kinaesthetic approaches.
  16. Sites encourage students to be creative, use their imagination and make use of problem solving strategies to develop an understanding of the material being provided.
  17. Project based sites provide a project management process for both teachers and students to follow including developmental objectives, time lines/frames and development strategies.
  18. There is backup information where ethical and moral statements are made and there is opportunity for students to investigate alternative points of view via referenced links or additional resources.
  19. The questioning strategy includes higher order thinking skills including synthesis and evaluation of information, application and analysis of data, presented points of view or information.
  20. The opportunity should exist to share what the student has learned with their peers via electronic lists or news groups.
  21. The site provides a process such that the information can be processed into knowledge. This may be done through sound questioning techniques, use of visual and audio support and investigative inquiries.
  22. The site clearly states what level of ability the site is aimed at and what areas will be covered.
  23. If a plug in application a link is provided to obtain it.



2002 Mahmud Shihab  http://www.eduspace.org